Ronald W. Woodard

Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University

Research Focus: Enzyme Mechanism of Carbohydrate Biosynthetic Pathways

Phone: 734.664.7366
E-mail: rww@umich.edu
Fax: 734.763.5633

A major health problem today is an increasing resistance in pathogenic bacteria to the classic antibacterials, such as the penicillins. A potential approach to overcoming this problem is to design new and innovative agents with a totally different mode of action; therefore, no cross-resistance with present therapeuticals should occur. Many pharmacologically important drugs act by inhibiting key enzymes in various primary and secondary biochemical cascades. To be successful in this approach one needs a thorough understanding of the enzyme(s) at the molecular level.

The goal of our group is to use mechanistic information obtained from substrate analogue studies, in parallel with studies utilizing regio- and stereo-specifically labeled substrates and information from kinetic methodologies, in the design and synthesis of selective enzyme inhibitors of pivotal enzymes in critical biosynthetic cascades.


AAAS Fellow


Representative Publications

  1. Schmidt, Helgo, Guido Hansen, Sonia Singh, Anna Hanuszkiewicz, Buko Lindnerd, Koichi Fukasee, Ronald W. Woodard, Otto Holst, Rolf Hilgenfeld, Uwe Mamat and Jeroen R. Mestersa, Proceeding of National Academy Sciences USA, 109, 6253-6258 (2012)  “Structural and mechanistic analysis of the membrane-embedded glycosyltransferase WaaA required for Aquifex lipopolysaccharide synthesis.”

  2. Schmidt, Helgo, Jeroen R. Mesters Jing Wu, Ronald W. Woodard, Rolf Hilgenfeld and Uwe Mamat, PLOS One 6(8), e-23231 (2011)  “Evidence for a Two-Metal-Ion Mechanism in the Cytidyltransferase KdsB, an Enzyme Involved in Lipopolysaccharide Biosynthesis.”

  3. Su, Lingqia, Chenhua Xu, Ronald W. Woodard, Jian Chen and Jing Wu, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 97, 6705-13 (2013)  “A novel strategy for enhancing extracellular secretion of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli.”

  4. Cech, David L., Pan Fen Wang, Tod P. Holler and Ronald W. Woodard, Journal Bacteriology, 15, 2861-68, (2014)  “The arabinose-5-phosphate isomerase of Bacteroides fragilis; insight into regulation of single-domain arabinose phosphate isomerases.”

  5. Gabrielli L, S. Merlo, C. Airoldi, P. Sperandeo, S. Gianera, A. Polissi, F. Nicotra, T. P. Holler, Ronald W. Woodard, L. Cipolla, Bioorg Med Chem. 22, 2576-83 (2014),  “Arabinose 5-phosphate isomerase as a target for antibacterial design: studies with substrate analogues and inhibitors.”

  6. Mamat, Uwe, Kathleen Wilke, David Bramhill, Andra B. Schromm, Buko Lindner, Thomas Kohl, José L Corchero, Antonio Villaverde, Lana Schaffer, Steven R Head, Chad Souvignier, Ronald W. Woodard, Microbial Cell Factories, 14, 57-72 (2015)  “Detoxifying Escherichia coli for endotoxin-free production of recombinant proteins.”